maternity leave in India 2021: Rules, Leave Duration And Rights

The maternity benefit act was first introduced in 2017 in order to protect women’s employment. Basically, according to this act, a woman can take paid leave during and after the pregnancy. But one must be aware of the intricacies and the details of this act in order to be fully aware of its benefits. 

There are many things that you must keep in mind as the number of children that you have as it affects the duration of the leave.  

Rules For Maternity Leave in India

You should know that you can take 26 weeks of maternity leave in India if it is your first or the second child. But after two children, the maternity leave for a third child would be just for 12 weeks. You may get a further extension on your leave if the health condition of the mother and baby has some issues. Otherwise, the extension of maternity leave completely depends upon the HR of different organizations. 

It is also essential that you know that in case of adoption if your baby is younger than three months than you can avail a maternity leave of 12 weeks. Moreover, it is crucial for you to know that if you want maternity leave in India 2020, you must have at least worked for 80 days in an organization before the due date of the delivery. This will allow you to have the full time to pay during your maternity leave. 

This leave can be taken by an employee of the public as well as private sector organization, which at least has ten employees. You can divide the maternity leave as per your wish, before and after the delivery date.

 Another important thing that you must keep in mind is that you can not avail of work from home after 26 weeks of maternity leave according to the act but you can make that work if you have the permission of your HR. after the maternity leave period is over the organization who has more than 50 members must provide a crèche for the baby. The mother can visit the baby four times a day in the crèche.

Duration Of The maternity Leave-in India

Generally, if you are a healthy woman with not many issues, then you can work until the last week of the due delivery date. After that, you can take maternity leave of 26 weeks after the delivery. Generally, it’s all on the woman who is going to deliver the baby. 

She can divide the before and after the delivery period of leave as she wishes to be. Moreover, remember that childbirth is an expensive affair, and thus you need to have maternity insurance, which will cover hospitalization, prenatal and postnatal expenses, and even the newborn baby’s first 30days. So you need to properly plan your pregnancy and all the terms and conditions that are involved in it. 

The very first step to a healthy child is with a healthy mother and proper planning. You can get many insurance providers through online links and portals, but their policy has a waiting period of 2 to 6 years. Moreover, there is another thing that you must keep in mind that is if you do not go back to the job. If at all after the maternity leave you do not join your job, then you need to submit a proper justification for it; otherwise, you will not be provided further compensation. 

The maternity act allows a woman to have a paid leave for a certain period of time beyond that a woman won’t be paid if she continues her leave. Moreover, you must know that if there are only ten days to the delivery date, then no employee can push you to do tough tasks that will harm you or your child. 

Know Your Rights on maternity leave in India 2020

It is very important that you know your rights and thus know what is right and what is wrong. Remember that no organization has the right to fire you only because you are pregnant. Pregnancy can never be the reason for anyone to fire an employee under any condition. 

Laws have advanced and always favor a working woman and her conditions. It is an illegal act if an employer terminates a woman from the job because of her pregnancy. Moreover, you can get maternity leave in India even if you adopt a child. Maternity leave is important as childbirth is a very tough task, and a mother and a child need care during that period. 

A leave provides a mother as well as the child a time to look and care just about the health of the baby. If a woman is too loaded with work and is pressurized, then it may adversely affect the child too. This is a negative thing, and thus in order to avoid it, a woman needs maternity leave in India. 

During this period, the woman should take care of her health as well as the baby’s health and not care about anything else. Mental health is also one of the most important things that need to be taken care of during this period as many women suffer from depression, which later has an effect on the child too. 


This act has been made so that a woman bearing a child should be treated well and looked after. It is essential that the woman is mentally as well as physically fit so that she can deliver a healthy child. Moreover, the woman should not worry about the financial burden as she would be getting paid during her leave. 

This will make the woman stronger in her mind, as this will help her deliver a healthy child. Moreover, after the maternity period is over, you can return back to your job and can work. You no longer have to leave your job just because you are pregnant. Women contribute a lot to the country’s progress, and thus they need to be supported. It is very important that you know your rights so that there are no unfair work practices. 

Antara Chowdhary

Antara Chowdhury is a Content Marketer and Strategist with 6 years of experience. She is Master degree holder in Journalism and wants to explore everything she can write on.

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